Welded down in Dover

Trip Start Apr 10, 2010
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Trip End Apr 10, 2011


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Flag of France  , Nord-Pas-de-Calais,
Friday, June 4, 2010

Passing through London again seemed like almost coming home, Mad Mary, the GPS lady took us through the heart of London deeper than necessary, which was good to see the old sites again, but painful because bigwig hates sitting in traffic lights. He has a hot temper…

We spent that evening with our new friends, the former owners of the van, Darren & Kim, and go to learn some more important things about the van, including; how to have a hot shower for longer than 5 seconds! (What the HELL were we thinking!! Nearly 2 months of needlessly cold showers? Streuth!)

The next day sent us straight down to Dover, another familiar friend. We quickly checked Bigwig into the local Qwik-fit for an MOT test (that is like the safety check back home for registration). We failed…

We got passed an arm length list of things to fix or repair, worst of which was a leaking brake valve, one tyre, all new globes, and 5 spots of welding under the wheel arches, all setting us back about 300 quid and 5 days of waiting for parts.
It almost seemed like another Hastings disaster, but the wait for our "special" brake valve allowed us to nestle down in the Dover sunshine and relax.

The time was spent easily on top of the white cliffs where we were allowed free parking (because of our trust membership). We baked in the sun and read a lot, ate a lot and enjoyed walking around the town and beach. By the end of the week we were recognizing all the locals and almost feeling like we belonged. Almost. Dover people are weirdos. Jena saw two dudes kissing next to our van as we tried to sleep…

One thing of note as we do these parts of the United Kingdom again is the shift in wild flowers. When we arrived we saw thousands of daffodils and tulips lining the roads, but 6 weeks later they seem to have been replaced with poppies, buttercups and daisies. It is really interesting seeing these wild flowers all taking their turns in the season.

On the Friday when we finally picked up Bigwig with all his fancy new parts then we hightailed it straight to the ferry, and after a mad frantic run-around to get groceries, water, and gas, we were on board the Sea France ferry to Calais!

When we touched down, Joel faced the earthshattering concept of driving on the right hand side of the road. But seeming not as dumb as he looks, he took to it like a Irishman to whiskey. We settled easily onto our first Aire park just off the freeway above Calais.

The sunshine of the past week have left us golden red with sun burn. Jena's cleavage looks like 2 giant beetroots. A telling legacy of our time spent in Dover.
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